This may seem like a simple catch phrase, but for Nicole Ahr, a young schoolteacher turned entrepreneur, it is a simple truth worth proclaiming to her many loyal followers.
Ahr’s business and website, The Love Letter Library is a collection of love letters and love letter journals. According to their website, “we are the movers and shakers and the love letter makers.”
Ahr founded this enterprise last year. “With courage,” she writes, “we commit to blaze the trail of love for others to join. We are the pioneers of a life led by love.”
Love is certainly in the air during the month of February. But for Ahr, she lives love all year long.
“I was an English teacher at Garner Middle School for six years,” she said. “Teaching is gratifying, but I was looking for something more to feed my heart.”
Ahr started off with expressions of love on note cards and the idea gained momentum. “I noticed a need for encouraging words,” she said. “Someone saw it on Instagram and it took off from there.”
With 14,000 followers on the Love Letter Library Instagram account, the momentum is definitely growing and Ahr attributes this to the need for self love and the need for random acts of kindness within the community.
Ahr also attributes her success to the free programs offered in partnership with Café Commerce. “The electronic resources there were incredibly helpful because they offered a step by step guide to setting up my business,” she said.
The Café Commerce website advertises as “a one-stop shop where entrepreneurs and small-business owners can gain valuable information, resources, market data and expert guidance to help start and maintain their business.”
Her message with the hashtag #StopDropAndLoveLetter has found itself spreading rapidly with the help of social media. “Last February, I wrote a love letter every day and left it in the world for someone to find with the hope that it might inspire change or brighten someone’s day,” Ahr wrote on one of her social media posts. “Today, we have sales in nine countries and almost every state.”
People began to ask where they could buy this stationery. “Two local shops, IAMA Coffee House and CommonWealth Coffee House, carry a variety of Love Letter Library Products,” she said.
But most of her audience shops electronically.
The #StopDropAndLoveLetter was inspired by a combination of the public’s affinity for love letters and the beauty of discovering something wonderful and unexpected in the world. “I encourage people to grow wild love,” she said, “and this is the perfect way to do it.”
A recent example of this social media trend was played out at a Spurs game. Several high school students took the cards to the AT&T Center,” Ahr said. “They left the cards in random places. People find it and are encouraged.”
People often get confused about the Love Letter Library; they think it is romance, but it is actually all about affirmation.
“I think the success of The Love Letter Library is due to the internet,” she said. “Although we may have hundreds of friends on line, true connection gets lost.”
The project allows Ahr to be creative and encourages creativity in others.
“I have 15-16 subscribers a month,” she said. “And I really connect with customers. It’s not just a business. One of them (customer) has turned into a pen-pal.
The whole idea is based around the concept of self-love. One must love his or herself before love can be offered to others.
“Most of my customers are women,” Ahr admits. “There is no age bracket. In fact, I have postcards for kids to send their love.”
The Gypsy Journal is a traveling collection of handwritten love letter journals. This journal travels like a gypsy.
“Love letters are written and passed along from person to person and heart to heart until the journal reaches its final page,” Ahr said. “Then it’s returned to The Love Letter Library and turned into a bound paperback book for all participants to have a copy of the final product.”
The Love Club is a monthly subscription; a perfect gift for your loved one.
“It starts at $20.00 a month,” Ahr said. “Every month will have different themes. And there will be three gifts around each theme.”
The Saturday Love Letter Series is a blossom from one heart to another in a field of love. “This series is a way for me to share with you my own love letters as well as feature other people’s love letters,” Ahr said.
“Love Is My Jam” is a collection of items. The bundle includes a blank journal, a tote bag, and a pencil bouquet. Ahr has many other gift selections.
“The Love and Literacy Program is like a love letter in a book,” she said. “Love Letters for Littles is designed for kids. It includes a pack of cards with uplifting images and messages.”
Follow The Love Letter Library on the web through the links below.